In the ever-evolving world of WWE, creative endeavors often take unexpected turns, and the debut of Shayna Baszler on the main roster in 2020 was no exception. Unveiling a backstage revelation, it has come to light that Vince McMahon had a distinctive vision for Baszler’s arrival, aiming to make her the “Mike Tyson of the women’s division.”
Shayna Baszler, a former NXT Women’s Champion, transitioned to the main roster with much anticipation in early 2020. Her clash with Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch on the February 10th, 2020, episode of Raw became a defining moment, but not without its share of controversy. Baszler applied a chokehold on Lynch and, in a shocking twist, bit the back of her neck, causing Lynch to bleed. This provocative segment stirred a mixed response, with some praising its intensity while others criticized it as unnecessary.
In an exclusive revelation to Sean Ross Sapp for Fightful, Shayna Baszler shared that WWE’s intention behind this bold angle was to generate viral social media attention. McMahon envisioned Baszler embodying the unpredictable and edgy persona of legendary boxer Mike Tyson, notorious for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear during their 1997 match.
“They wanted something that would make me trend on Twitter. It worked. I was like, ‘I mean, I have this gnarly arm stomp.’
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“They were like, ‘No, no, no.’ We want you to be like the Mike Tyson of the division.’ I was like, ‘You think they’re gonna think Mike Tyson after this? Okay. You got it.’ But I trended on Twitter, so who am I to say?
“I just came up to the main roster. I was doing my job getting myself to trend on Twitter. That’s it.”
Shayna Baszler has since continued her journey in WWE, participating in recent events like the WWE Women’s World Title #1 contender’s battle royal on the November 6th edition of Raw. While the neck-biting gimmick was eventually phased out, it remains etched in the memory of fans as a unique chapter in Baszler’s debut.
As we look ahead, the question arises: What’s next for Shayna Baszler? Vince McMahon’s intriguing vision for her debut certainly left an indelible mark, and only time will unveil the trajectory of her career in the ever-dynamic world of professional wrestling.
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Vince McMahon’s creative foresight, while daring, showcases the relentless pursuit of capturing audience attention in the ever-competitive landscape of sports entertainment. The revelation adds a layer of complexity to the nuanced art of crafting a WWE Superstar’s debut, where balancing shock value with lasting impact remains a constant challenge.